April 6, 2009

I Survived a Wedding!

Saturday's wedding was ten hours of pure pants-shitting thrills.  And I survived.

It was nerve-wracking being the lead shooter for the first time.  It's so much easier to be the second shooter... so much less responsiblity and lots more time for grabbing shots you want.  I took a more consevative route and shot for safety first, not allowing myself the freedom of full creativity.  Every now and then I snapped a creative shot, but I did not nearly push the envelope as hard as I normally would.  

I have reviewed the raw results and am pleased enough that there appears to be no disaster.  The only key shot I did not successfully get was the throwing of the bouquet.  The flash didn't fire, even though I snapped at the precise moment it was caught.  Oh well.  I did point it out to the bride and groom there and then, and they seemed okay with it.

I enjoyed shooting the bride and her maids getting ready at the hotel the most.  They were great: totally ignored me and did their thing while I moved around and snapped away.  It was such a relaxed, focussed atmosphere and I found that section of the day's photographs to be the one's I'm happiest with as a result.  I suck at the formals, and although I guess they are necessary, would really prefer it if they just were not done.

The couple themselves were also awesome.  They were very grounded and friendly and treated me like a king, something that never happens when I film weddings.  I believe they will be happy with the results and am I glad to have had their wedding for my first gig as the lead photographer.

April 4, 2009

1st Solo

Another shot of Helga during our shoot with lighting.

I shoot my first solo wedding today.  Wish me luck!

March 25, 2009


I was involved in an accident this evening.  As I rode home from work, the car in front of me turned off the road without indicating and I crashed into it.  Fortunately, both of us were going relatively slowly.  I picked up some minor grazing on my left hand and arm and hurt my left knee (it impacted the road first and the sccoter I was on landed on the leg).  But otherwise, I am unhurt - no blows to the head, neck or shoulders and both ankles and feet are fine.  There is even very little damage to the scooter.

So, today I am thankful.  I am thankful that I could walk through the front door of my house and into the bathroom to where the rest of the family was, and to see them all, to greet them all, to find out how my stepson's day was, how my fiance's day was, to look into the face of my smiling son who is fourteen months old, to be able to smile back at him and feel immense joy, and to feel a happiness and contentedness for who I am.

Today I am thankful, regardless of how little money I own, or that I don't have clue where I'll be living or working in less than two months from now.  Today I have forgotten that my teeth need fixing, that I'm losing my hair, that I don't always take great photographs.  Today, I am simply thankful. 

March 20, 2009

Off Topic (OT) - A Surprise

Please click on the title of this post.

It was passed on to me today.  It came as a welcome surprise.  It is a condensed version of a little something that I wrote for my good friend and artist Jost Kirsten, who is currently on an art stipend in Germany.  The English version in below the photograph.

March 19, 2009

The Passage

And time itself, too, will one day make a mockery of us; our attempts at grandeur, pompousness, bullying, selfishness and narcissistic tendencies.

Yes, time itself imposes on us the greatest imaginable horror, that of an unstoppable forward motion in which the body decays bit by bit and the soul fights bravely on for eternal renewal, captive within a beautifully flawed prison of delicate flesh and bone.  And I dream of the day when I will once again be able to shed a tear, because I have become immunized against the dreadfulness of our dismal actions toward one another.  I am no romantic.  I am no idealist.  I am not religious, nor spiritual.  Yet I am confounded each day how we, as a species, made it this far.  I am confounded when I look at the purity of heart of my son of thirteen months and know that I have no real alternatives to the massive pain of current relationships in the world.  I am ashamed that neither I nor my generation has managed to overcome our infantile behaviour tward each other, despite our once held wisdom of how things could and should be being just beneath the surface of our daily consciousness.  Instead, we place ownership on feelings and fight each other to the death or worse over these ridiculous emotions we scarcely understand.

But I know this - time will make a mockery of all these lunacies.  Time: the great equalizer whose consequence we can all fear equally.

How is any of this relevant?  You may well ask.  I have had a lasting fascination and adoration for decaying buildings, long-since abandoned and crumbling under the weight of both the elements and time.  They are full of hope and dispair simultaneously.  They are symbolic of our ridiculously highfalutin images of ourselves.  They are reminders of how imortant humility is; the underlying strength of patience; the frailty of our dreams; and , most vitally for me, the sheer beauty that arises from blemishes.  Each tick and tock of the second hand is an opportunity to witness the remarkable.

And the apple dangling before my ego's cart is thus - to capture the spirit and physicality of those decaying buildings in human form.  For what else produces the slant of those shoulders, the depth of these lines, the magnificence of our bodily expression when it finds honesty... if it is not time?

The Image Above:
As I walked out of my work premisis one day, I saw this locust impaled on a cactus leaf.  I have never seen anything like it before, nor since that day.  My best guess is that he was blown into the plant by the wind, as it was the time of year when strong, hot desert winds blow here.

March 17, 2009


Albeit just for today, I am satisfied with what I've turned out this year so far.  (On the whole)

My progress in the photographgy game is slow, but having done a mini-evaluation of my work from the past year or so, I can see that I have definitely improved in several key areas (composition probably being the greatest step forward, thank God!).
It is only by placing the pictures from the past 12 months next to each other that I can get a realistic idea of what changes have occurred in my style and abilities as a photographer.  It becomes too difficult to notice on a day-to-day basis, which often results in much disappointment and frustration.  But, when I can stand back and look at a progression of work, it all falls into place so much better.

Above is a picture of my good friend Dalton, taken a couple of weeks ago.